Rick Fox can only be described as the ultimate heartthrob. He became the envy of probably every black man in America when he married the first ever African-American Miss America, Vannessa Williams.
The retired basketball player, who played for two of the most successful franchises in NBA history, now works as an actor and businessman. He is most notable for his appearance on the HBO drama Oz and on the ABC comedy-drama Ugly Betty as well as for his ownership of the e-sports franchise, Echo Fox.
Rick Fox is of Canadian-Bahamian origin thanks to his parents; Dianne Gerace and Ulrich Fox. He was born Ulrich Alexander Fox on the 24th of July 1969 in Toronto, Canada but grew up in the Bahamas after his family moved there when he was 4 years of age.
Fox attended Kingsway Academy in the Bahamian capital city of Nassau where he discovered his love for basketball. He played for the school’s basketball team before transferring to Warsaw Community High School in Warsaw, Indiana. He played high school basketball for the school for two years before being ruled out by the Indiana High School Athletic Association for having already completed eight semesters between the Bahamas and Indiana. This meant that Fox did not play high school basketball in his senior year.
He, however, still managed to get a basketball scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina where he majored in radio, television, and motion picture sciences. With the schools basketball team, the North Carolina Tar Heels, Fox achieved great heights, both personally and with the team. He led them to the 1991 NCAA Final Four and upon graduation, was the school’s all-time steals and games played leader.
Rick Fox was subsequently selected by the Boston Celtics with the 24th overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft. He went on to become a starter with the Celtics on the opening night of the season, being the first rookie to achieve such feat since another Boston Celtic legend, Larry Bird, did so in 1979. By the end of that season, Fox averaged 8 points per game and was selected to the 1992 NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
Fox’s run with the Celtics lasted until the summer of 1997 when he was released by the team. That previous year, he recorded a career high of 15.4 points and 2.2 steals per game. He also made a total of 101 three-point field goals, prompting the Los Angeles Lakers to sign the free agent.
Lakers NBA Career
Despite having a number of teams looking to sign him in free agency, Rick Fox agreed to join the Lakers because he had interests in acting and Hollywood was just around the corner. That distraction, however, did not stop him from winning back to back to back NBA Championships just after three years with the team.
With Phil Jackson as the coach, and Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant on the roster, the Lakers first beat the Indiana Pacers in the 2000 NBA Finals, then the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2001 NBA Finals, and finally the New Jersey Nets in the 2002 NBA Finals.
The Lakers’ dominance of the NBA ended the following season, although they still managed to reach the Western Conference Semifinal in 2003 and the 2004 NBA Finals where they lost to the Detroit Pistons. The following campaign, Fox was traded back to the Celtics but he instead chose to retire.
Rick Fox’s Family – Wife, Son, and Daughter
Rick Fox was previously married to Miss America 1984, Vannessa Williams. The couple eloped in the summer of 1999 to the Caribbean but later had another ceremony for friends and family in New York. Fox and Williams, who worked as an actress, singer and fashion designer after she vacated her Miss America title, were married from 1999 to 2004 before Fox filed for divorce for unknown reasons.
Their marriage produced a daughter, Sasha Gabriella Fox, who was born on the 1st of May, 2000. She is Fox’s second child and Williams’ fourth. Fox had previously fathered a son named Kyle in 1993 with his college girlfriend, Kari Hillsman, while he was playing for the Celtics.
Not much is known about Rick Fox’s father, Ulrich Fox, aside from that he is from the Bahamas. His mother, however, is a former track athlete who represented Canada at the 1964 Olympics, competing in the high jump and pentathlon events and also in the 1963 Pan American Games where she won a silver medal in high jump.
Fox has two sisters; model and actress Jeanene Fox and Sarah Fox.